Note: If this looks familiar, this is a slight modification of a post I put out some time ago.
Over the past month, many new readers have found our website. With the article in Oprah Magazine, my presentation at WVU, and the revitalization of the Anti-Parole petition the site has added thousands-upon-thousands viewers. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to share the ways you can keep Ryan and his story relevant. You should know, this is both uncomfortable and humbling for me. In some ways, it’s humiliating to need this much help… all the time. But I do need it.
As I said many times before, I need you to help take care of my son.
You will see, it’s not just about the money. Oh, sure, money is important. Damned important! Yes, I’ll make it as easy as possible for people to contribute, but I am primarily fighting to keep memory alive. I made a promise to Ryan and myself to keep him relevant. I promised to see that both criminal and civil justice is served. I promised to give the best I can, for his sake, every second I have left on this earth. My life has purpose, and this is a curse. I also promised, if the universe allows, to haunt the living hell out of the men who attacked him when I die.
Think I’m joking? I’m not.
That’s not to say that I wouldn’t be attending ball games and a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show now and then. Hey, even malevolent ghosts need to cut loose every once-in-an-eternity.
So, I set-up each bullet point’s hyperlink (below) to open a new window/tab in your browser. This way it should make it easy to jump away from this post and see what I’m talking about, while always having this page to return to and continue exploring. It’s really just a quick list of nine ways to keep Ryan foremost, whether through following him and/or your contributions.
- Pinterest. What can I say? I was ahead of the times when I brought RyansRally to Pinterest earlier in the year. I felt it was an excellent way to visually represent much of what’s involved in his life. Most thought it was a great idea (or at least worth a shot) and forward-thinking, but there were a few nay sayers. Anyhow, I just smiled (rather smugly, I might add) when articles began recently appearing telling organizations to create an online presence here. For me, it appears to be catching on. If you’re on Pinterest, new to it, or thinking about joining then please follow Ryan’s Boards.
- Facebook. This was the original social media venue in keeping everyone updated on Ryan. I remember sitting just outside the room as Ryan was getting a CAT scan and posting “Ryan’s life is in peril.” I use it now to alert of new ryansrally.org website information, content, and events. It’s most important role is in getting breaking news out before I can write a full-blown post. An example of this is just last August when Austin Vantrease was denied parole. I updated Ryan’s Fan Page from my car before leaving the Huttonsville Prison parking lot.
- Twitter. RyansRally is on Twitter too! I promise, I don’t flood it with useless “tweets”. I use it for just two purposes: 1) Notification of a new blog post, and 2) Crisis/Emergency/Breaking News. If you have a Twitter account, please follow Ryan.
- Events/Fundraisers. There is always something happening or planned and you can take a look on the Events Page. These fundraisers not only raise money, but are a lot of fun. I will soon be adding the 3rd Annual “Ride for Ryan” that is done by my old college roommate.
- Ryan’s Wish List. This online list, as simple as it is, has provided so much for Ryan. Ryan’s Wish List started in June 2011 when a reader suggested this as a way to allow people to help. Since its beginning people have fulfilled over 480 orders, comprising somewhere around one-thousand products (estimated). Not once — ever — has a request not been met!
- One-Time and Recurring Monthly Contribution. This was also suggested by a reader. This couldn’t be easier and can be done online through PayPal, even if you don’t have a PayPal account. All you need is your credit card! These donations are then put directly into Ryan’s Special Needs Trust Fund. Take a look at the sidebar on the top-righthand side of this post (immediately above the Blue Moon ad) and there it is. You can make a single contribution or subscribe to an ongoing monthly one (and unsubscribe at any time). Please, no contribution is too small. It adds up quickly. It’s money we rely on and is helping offset the astronomical cost of his care and treatment. As always, contributions can also be mailed to: Ryan Diviney Special Needs Trust 21092 Carthagena Ct. Ashburn, VA 20147 *Payable to Ryan Diviney SNT.
- Team Diviney Initiatives. Sometimes “Team Diviney” is asked to rise to an ocassion. The most recent is a call-to-action to sign an Anti-Parole Petition that will be given to the West Virginia Parole Board to show that society is strongly opposed to Austin Vantrease’s early release. Right now it is approaching 55,000 signatures, with an astonishing 22,000 added in the past two days. Another example happened over the summer when reams of letters were written to the West Virginia Parole Board requesting the denial of parole for Austin Vantrease. It made a huge impression and was key in keeping a violent felon (i.e., Austin Vantrease) in prison. It is the largest community opposition of a convict, at least at Huttonsville Prison, to date (well, that is, until next July). If you haven’t already, you should read my four part series recounting the parole hearing, starting on Part 1. One of the most effective ways to help is to share initiatives through your social media.
- Legal Fund. For some time now I’ve been kicking around the idea of seeing if there is an interest in people financially supporting a fund that will help cover the legal cost of holding Ryan’s attackers legally accountable. Truth is, even if we win the civil lawsuit (scheduled for next summer) for a bizillion dollars, Ryan will not likely see much (if any) of it. That’s not the point. It’s the principle and executing on his wishes. I will keep them accountable for the rest of their lives… then go after their estates. Problem is, it takes money to do this; filing liens and garnishments, hiring private investigators, and so on. It’s an unfair reality of our legal system in the United States. I believe I would also use this to defend this website and myself, should the need arise (and it already has). Let’s not be too quick to forget that Vantrease tried to shutdown this blog and I had to defend my freedom of expression (successfully) in federal court against their attempted restraining order (Read about it here). Beyond that example, I am currently objecting to one of their “Discovery Requests” that will be heard and resolved by the same federal judge where Vantrease feels your donations should offset his liability (read about it here). Seriously, he is! In effect, he is saying your help toward Ryan is his to claim. Of all the nerve! For clarity, I’m not saying I’m correct (legally) and I am hoping for a favorable ruling, just as they are. What I do believe is it is another classless act from a string off them.
- RyansRally.org Subscription. At the very bottom-center of every page, to include this one, is a field where you can enter your email to get alerts delivered right to your inbox! What is nice about this is, if you are one of the many who follow reader comments then you can be alerted (or not) when someone has something to say. Be forewarned, by signing-up for comment notifications, you should expect between one- and two-dozen. This is for the hardcore follower. Otherwise, it’s probably best to just sign-up for new articles or link through FaceBook or Twitter (and forego subscribing). The point is, I just want you to stay connected and it’s up to you how. More than 500 people already are signed-up!
Before I wrap up, let me again thank each of you for all you do. Because of you, this website is now ranked in the top 1% of all active Worldwide and United States based websites (0.33%). Readership, measured in “page views”, has exceeded over 50,000 per day on several occassions.
I need look no further than this to know that you are keeping my son relevant.